February 27, 2013 —
Town of Lumberland officials on February 13 approved a resolution supporting the restoration of a countywide board of supervisors to replace the current county legislature.
Lumberland is not alone in its stance. The Sullivan County Association of Supervisors also has called for replacing the county legislature, with 11 town supervisors approving a resolution in support of returning to the board of supervisors if county voters approve.
The county legislature has been the governing body for the past 17 years, but some believe it is an inefficient form of government. “There just doesn’t seem to be cohesive direction for the county,” Lumberland supervisor Nadia Rajsz said. She said the issue needs to be further discussed with community members, and petition drives will be needed. Petitions need to be submitted by September in order for the issue to be placed on the November ballot.
The current legislature consists of nine lawmakers who represent districts defined by constituent populations. But some say not every district is equally represented, and that legislators aren’t as visible in communities where there are supervisors.
“The western part of the county is like a neglected stepchild,” said Ann Schulte Steimle, president of the Lumberland Volunteer Fire Department. “Everyone focuses on the east.”
Rajsz agreed, saying, “They work in a bubble, and we work in a bubble, and there is a disconnect.”